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  • Thankful Tuesday – Strategy and Cakelet?


    What a day…

    I attended a long strategy meeting today and enjoyed it. The topics were interesting, the team dynamics positive, the outcomes important, and there was food. Discussion about the future, the company strategy, and how the technology my team delivers fits into those plans.

    It is also my birthday and that was fun too! One last swim for the season – this is saying a lot for October in Canada. A delicious dinner with family, flowers from my kids, a call from my parents, a bouquet also from my team, and a cakelet. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Cakelet. Enough cake for everyone to have a taste, and not so much that you wonder what to do with it.

    I am thankful and I feel blessed. Work and colleagues I enjoy, and a family who knows how much I love my birthday and all the traditions that come with it.

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  • Thursday Tech Talk – Deskside Support Experts


    I got a new laptop yesterday. An excellent deskside support person came, delivered the laptop, set me up, and had me running in 15 minutes.

    This is her job so maybe that’s not a big deal. The interesting aspects to me were these:
    – she was extremely pleasant and personable
    – she was effective and knowledgeable
    – she taught me a few things without making me feel dumb
    – she was a girl geek

    I can’t remember the last time I had a technical support person help me who was a female. Yes, help desk reps, but not hands on deskside support people.

    We’re establishing standards for devices and I’m testing this out as a small, lightweight option for heavy travellers like myself. I have 30 days to assess and make a decision.

    Getting new equipment can be fun, or can be painful. This was an excellent, positive experience. I was inspired and smiled all day.

    Well done, girl geek. Well done.

    If you’re wondering…

    Lenovo X280
    Intel i7, 8th Gen
    DDR4 SDRAM
    2400 MHz
    17 hours battery life
    12.5 inch screen, 2.9 pounds
    And yes, that’s a built in webcam shutter 🙂

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  • Leadership Thoughts – Two Feet of Perspective

    A busy week including working in 4 cities, literally commuting via trains, planes, and automobiles, temperatures that varied from 90F+ to a dip of 55F in a matter of days, preparing for two major presentations, and a neighbourhood bbq to top it all off.

    Busy – productive – fun – and by the end my head was full.

    I realized I needed to let everything find a place in my brain, and I would benefit from some perspective. I found it without having to go far from home.

    A beautiful lake, a warm sunny day, and 30 minutes of free time on my hands. Perspective, POV, frame of mind. Whatever you want to call it. It always fascinates me how taking a few minutes to think frees up the required thoughts I need to pull it all together.

    Two feet of perspective. And life is good again.

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  • Leadership Thoughts – Tethered by Trust

    I recently took a vacation in the western provinces of Canada that included 11 days on a motorcycle. This was a first for me and I wasn’t sure what I was getting into.

    Two Harley motorcycles, two couples, many mountain ranges, large lakes and rivers and the Pacific Ocean, and countless twisties. Roads that allow the rider to enjoy, curving, swaying, following the natural landscape, with the beautiful views ever present.

    The road, my thoughts, and hours of enjoyment – about 77 hours of riding in fact – and this phrase popped into my head: “tethered by trust”.

    When two bikes ride together tethered by trust, the riding is an experience like poetry, like a symphony, like a well-oiled machine. There is an unspoken language that is learned through experience that enables joy and safety, leading and sharing, and pure exhilaration.

    It reminded me of leadership in work and personal experiences. When common goals, experience to execute, and trust exists, words are often unnecessary. We know where we’re going, we have the right skills, and people trust me to both lead and pass the reins at the appropriate moments. Lead when I’m needed, pass the reins to others either for a break or allow them to grow, or to recognize areas of strength that I may not have.

    A Harley motorcycle, an open road, and a few hand signals that are universally known by experienced riders. And don’t forget the dropped-arm-low-key-wave when you see a fellow biker.

    Tethered by trust. Leadership indeed.

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  • Women in Tech – Job Change?


    Women in Tech…

    Have you ever been on vacation and pondered a job change? I have taken a vacation several times in my life to consider a job change, or a job offer, and also to take stock of what I want to do.

    I laughed as I saw this sign today and thought to myself, well that’s a different kind of job.

    So if you’re thinking of a job change and want something really different from a life in Tech – I can hook you up with an opportunity in Washington state. It’s not clear if the cottage is available for accommodations, but I bet you could negotiate!

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  • Thankful Tuesday – Space to Think

    My brain needs space to think.

    Sometimes that space is just a quiet room, or an uninterrupted moment with eyes closed, or a walk around the block.

    When I was young and something became too much – usually involving two siblings mad at each other – my Gram would say “go run around the house”. A wise women she was. The run around the house bought her time away from the quarrel, but also distracted us kids from whatever big issue was going on. (You took my cookie, stop looking at me, etc.)

    Space. It allows my brain to think, and reflect, and gain perspective.

    I am currently on a vacation like no other I have taken. 11 days of riding a motorcycle in Western Canada and the U.S. with a loose agenda and many miles to travel. One city to the next, mountains everywhere I look, rushing water, dried up rivers, glaciers melting, forests thriving and forests burned, different cultures everywhere we land for lunch and the night, … and space.

    I remember this quote from my school days and always loved it. Now I am feeling it…

    “Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles.” “That,” I said, “is very frank advice, but it is medicine easier given than taken. It is a wide country, but I do not know just where to go.” “It is all room away from the pavements. […]”

    — Josiah Bushnell Grinnell [9]

    I am fortunate and I believe I live a blessed life. A key part of enjoying that is also stepping out of it to reflect, and taking that time, and space to think. What better way to do that than to go west, young man, go west!